Earthquake shakes northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered northwest of Richmond, Va., shook much of Washington, D.C., and was felt as far north as Rhode Island and New York City.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake was 3.7 miles deep. Shaking was felt at the White House and all over the East Coast, as far south as Chapel Hill, N.C.
At the U.S. Capitol, light fixtures swung and the building shook for about 15 seconds while the tremor hit, NBC News reported.
In New York City, NBC reported debris fell from the attorney general's office, causing a brief panic as people ran from the area.
At Reagan National Airport outside Washington, ceiling tiles fell during a few seconds of shaking. Authorities announced it was an earthquake and all flights were put on hold.
Parts of the Pentagon, White House and Capitol were evacuated. The quake was in Mineral, Va., in Louisa County.
Obama and many of the nation's leaders were out of town on August vacation when the quake struck at 1:51 p.m. EDT. The shaking was felt on the Martha's Vineyard golf course as Obama was just starting a round.
The East Coast gets earthquakes, but usually smaller ones and is less prepared than California or Alaska for shaking.